Ending Your World

Like most people in the world, I have a morning routine. The average person gets up at the same time every day, prepares breakfast, maybe reads the newspaper and looks out the window while hugging their sweetheart because this metaphor lives in the 1930s. My morning routine is more flexible: I wake up roughly ten minutes before I’m supposed to, pick up my phone and read my daily webcomic updates.

It doesn’t matter how dignified your reading habits are, reading comics is an entirely different sort of medium when compared to the pure text of a book. A lot of people I know enjoy webcomics, some following them daily and regularly, and some just sparing a laugh when their friend links one to them with poop jokes or whatever the kids are into these days. One comic I’ve been following regularly for roughly six years now is Tim Buckley’s Ctrl + Alt + Del. Traditionally a comic about video games, it’s evolved over the years to become more plot based and the art’s improved significantly as Buckley became more and more serious about the project, developing it from a series of easy jokes to the current state, as of twelve hours ago: more on that in a minute.

Buckley’s comic hasn’t been without controversy. A couple of years back he interrupted the usual cascade of humour to implement a storyline in which one of the main characters had a miscarriage. A lot of people gave Buckley flack for the storyline, including Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw of gaming review series Zero Punctuation. In a way it’s interesting how such a comedic series could touch on such themes – Buckley himself stated that the storyline was in no such way intended to be viewed as a joke or even a subject to be taken lightly. The update schedule for the comic (three times a week) dragged out extended storylines over months, which caused issues with flow. Tim Buckley is an example of someone who is dying to tell a story but limited by issues such a time, space and audience.

The reason I’m ranting like a webcomic critic about Ctrl + Alt + Del is because it finished today…well, sort of. It’s hard to say what happened without spoiling it but if you have a genuine interest, read the last month’s worth of comics and the accompanying blog posts. I’ll cover the topic more in the future but basically Buckley is revamping his story’s universe after years of planning, and I wish him luck in doing so and eagerly await the end result.

More on the subject next week.

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